Cameron and Shapps have trailed a consultation paper to be published as early as tomorrow with a “plan to end lifetime council tenancies” (Inside Housing and The Guardian) and a “home swap scheme to help tenants move” (Today Programme and Inside Housing) (hat-tip to Katie Brown (HLPA junior group), J, and Francis Davey – e-mail’s been buzzing this morning – as well as he who cannot be named who tipped me off about this announcement a week or so ago). The idea behind both schemes is to facilitate labour mobility, which rather goes to the “end of housing policy” debate that did the rounds at the … Read the full post
A small victory for the Welsh Assembly this week. They had been trying to get a Legislative Competence Order past Westminster to transfer a series of powers relating to social housing. This was lost in the sweeping up week prior to the dissolution of Parliament as the Conservative party was most unhappy with the transfer of control of Right to Buy provisions to the Assembly, apparently on the belief that there would be a suspension of Right to Buy in Wales.
The situation had not improved once the new Coalition government was installed and the Assembly was considering a referendum next year to force the transfer. Fortunately, sanity has … Read the full post
Nessa v London Borough of Tower Hamlets  EWCA Civ 559
This is an interesting appeal on the issue of the amendment or replacement of a S.125 Housing Act 1985 notice offering the right to buy at a specified price. The actual case itself is not particularly interesting as it turns out, but there are some comments by the Court of Appeal that open up a whole other can of worms.
Ms Nessa was the secure tenant of Tower Hamlets, jointly with Mr Uddin, since 1996. On 4 April 2006 they claimed the right to buy. The price was to be based on the open market value of the flat … Read the full post
Craighead v Homes for Islington & LB Islington  UKUT 47 (LC) is a decision of Andrew Trott in the Upper Tribunal on an appeal from the LVT. 21 leaseholders faced bills of £30-40,000 for service charges between 2006 and 2008 relating to “external repairs & decoration, window/roof renewal”. Given the size of the bills it is not surprising that they went to the LVT. The respondents, Islington (the freeholder) and Homes for Islington (HFI – their ALMO), succeeded in the LVT. There were three issues on appeal before Mr Trott, which he identified at  as:
- Whether the LVT erred in its conclusion that the sources from which the respondents
Mihovilovic v Leicester CC  UKUT 22 (LC)
Another Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) case. This was an appeal by the leaseholders of an LVT decision in respect of service and major works charges levied by Leicester City Council, the freeholder. There were three main issues in the appeal:
i) A charge for insurance of the building had been levied, but Leicester had not in fact obtained insurance, choosing to ‘self insure’. The LVT had found that Leicester could include a charge in respect of this self-insurance.
ii) The LVT had found that works to communal windows and to communal doors fell outside the s. 20(1) Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 … Read the full post
The SNP have announced that they intend to abolish the right to buy for all new build council and social housing in Scotland. The policy is intended to safeguard up to 18,000 social homes.
Figures in England show a steep decline in interest in the right to buy and it is hard to see that the last year will have altered that situation. I wonder if something similar may now happen in England and Wales, given that some Councils are building again?… Read the full post
The Housing Law Practitioners Association (“HLPA”) host their annual conference on December 15, 2009 at the Royal College of Surgeons, London. Details have just been released (with more to follow later in September) and can be found at www.profbriefings.co.uk/hlc2009.
(a) Richard Drabble QC giving the key note speech. Richard has had a very active year in the housing field having appeared in Manchester CC v Pinnock, R (Weaver) v L&Q, Hanoman v LB Southwark and Austin v LB Southwark;